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A mass of green ones clusters at the bottom of the image, which shows the brain of a research rat. But here and there, several of the dots seem to be moving up, migrating to an area of the brain that has been damaged.
These green dots represent stem cells, the kind that exist naturally deep inside the brain and have the ability to transform themselves into healthy brain cells.
Their migration on the image means that doctors may one day be able to treat traumatic brain injury with a simple substance: oxygen.
USF researcher Cesar Borlongan and his colleagues are experimenting with the use of hyperbaric chambers. They're working with rats now, treating them after a brain injury, then examining them for signs of change. But they expect to connect the dots all the way to apply their findings to veterans, stroke victims and others who've suffered brain trauma.
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